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WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA AND DONALD MEREDICK v. AUTO EXPRESS (11/10/75)

decided: November 10, 1975.

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA AND DONALD MEREDICK
v.
AUTO EXPRESS, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Donald Meredick v. Auto Express, Inc., No. A-68532.

COUNSEL

Joseph A. Murphy, with him Anthony J. Piazza, John R. Lenahan, and Lenahan, Dempsey & Murphy, for appellant.

James J. Haggerty, with him Joseph J. O'Brien, Jr., Haggerty & McDonnell, and James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Kramer and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 560]

Donald Meredick (claimant) was last employed as a tractor-trailer driver for Auto Express, Inc. (appellant).

On Friday, May 4, 1973, claimant drove his regular route between the Scranton terminal and the Charmin Paper plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania. At the Charmin plant, claimant, with the aid of two or three Charmin employees, participated in the routine unloading of his cargo through the use of mechanized forklifts and hand trucks. He then moved his truck to the loading dock and began, by himself, to hand load his truck for the

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 561]

    return trip home. At about 2 p.m., during the course or loading the truck, claimant experienced pains across his chest. Another truck driver finished the loading, and claimant, with great difficulty, managed to get his truck back to the plant and to check out for home. Claimant's chest pains continued intermittently until the following day when he was hospitalized for a myocardial infarction. He has not returned to work.

After a hearing, a referee found claimant to have been totally disabled from a work-related injury and accordingly awarded, in addition to claimant's stipulated medical expenses, compensation at the rate of $100 per week. The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) affirmed, and Auto Express has now appealed to this Court, raising various errors it deems fatal to claimant's recovery. We affirm.

In this type of case, where the Board has affirmed an award of a referee granting benefits to a claimant, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether there is substantial competent evidence in the record to support any necessary findings of fact and whether the Board and referee have committed an error of law. Columbus Service International v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 17 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 441, 333 A.2d 233 (1975); Panther Valley School District v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 178, 318 A.2d 403 (1974). And where, as here, the Board has received no additional evidence, we are compelled to rely on the facts as found by the referee, if such facts are supported by substantial competent evidence. Leipziger v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 12 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 417, 315 A.2d 883 (1974). As we have often stated, substantial evidence must be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Columbus Service International v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, supra.

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 562]

Appellant first brings before this Court the question of whether claimant met the burden placed on him of proving "that he sustained a work-related injury in the course of his employment." Appellant has therefore correctly recognized, and raised as an issue, the effect of the new amendments to Section 301(c)(1) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act.*fn1 Hence we turn to Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board v. Jeddo Highland ...


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